Stakeholders Defend Super Puma’s Safety Record

 - September 5, 2013, 11:10 AM

In the wake of a recent accident, three stakeholders in the Eurocopter Super Puma arena have rallied to support the aircraft’s safety record and image. “We do not believe that the accident was caused by an airworthiness or technical problem,” the UK CAA said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Eurocopter CEO Guillaume Faury asserted that “the worldwide safety records of [the Super Puma series] are the best in industry.” He was referring to the various AS332 and EC225 models, though he didn’t provide any hard safety figures for the types.

Last, but not least, UK chancellor George Osborne flew offshore in a Bristow-operated AS332L and stated that “the helicopter link is vital for the [oil and gas] industry.” Unusual when the investigation on a fatal accident has just begun, such a comment could be construed as a reaction to the outcry from North Sea workers after the crash.

Separately, a UK CAA expert suggested to AIN that comparing the safety records of different helicopter types is a perilous pursuit, citing the preponderance of operational causes and the difficulty of obtaining reliable data on utilization by type.